492 Cafe

The Sorrow of War / The Power of Poetry

Vietnam Combat Stories

About the Sponsor, RNFP

Roslindale Neighbors for Peace Began as a small group of neighbors concerned about the US reaction to the September 11 terrorist attack. RNFP believes that the US should fight terrorism within the bounds of international law and that basic rights should not be sacrificed in the name of a war on terror.

Veteran Poet David Connolly

Veteran Poet Kevin Bowen


David Connolly served in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He takes pride in having been, and continuing to be a Vietnam Veteran Against the War. His collection of poems, LOST IN AMERICA, was published by Viet Nam Generation, Inc., & Burning Cities Press in 1994.

Kevin Bowen was drafted and served in the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam from 1968-1969. He is a 1973 graduate of Umass Boston. A former Danforth Fellow and Fulbright Fellow at New College, Oxford. Ph.D. in English Literature from the SUNY-Buffalo. He was an aide and speechwriter for Lt. Governor Thomas P. O'Neill, III prior to becoming director of the Veterans' Upward Bound Program at Umass Boston. He was appointed co-director of the Joiner Center in 1984.

He has returned to Vietnam many times, initiating cultural, educational, and humanitarian exchanges. He teaches courses in creative writing, literature and war.

  • Hear about Kevin
  • Read Texts of Kevin's stories

The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences

The William Joiner Center was founded in 1982 as a response to the initiative of the university's large student veteran population. Named after William Joiner, an African American veteran and the university's first director of Veterans' Affairs, the center is supported by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and by grants from both public and private sources. It provides educational and other services to veterans, conducts research and makes policy recommendations on issues relating to veterans, and encourages teaching and scholarship on the Vietnam War and social consequences.     

the Joiner Center's Links Page includes many resources for veterans


John Hess' Introductory Remarks

  • Introduction to the Program (1:00) -Listen!
  • About War (18:00) -Listen!
  • Read John Hess' Article on Z-Net (speech, quotes and sources)

War Stories

David Connolly's words are in green, Kevin Bowen's are in blue

("Setup" tracks provide information helpful for understanding each story.)

  1. Kevin_Bowen: Self introduction -Listen!
  2. -Setup: Borneo -Listen!
  3. "Borneo" -Listen!
  4. -Setup: Helmets -Listen!
  5. "Helmets" -Listen!
  6. -Setup: Compass -Listen!
  7. "Compass" -Listen!
  8. David_Connolly: Self Introduction -Listen!
  9. "War Song" -Listen!
  10. -Setup: Don't Mean nothin' -Listen!
  11. "It Don't Mean Nothin'" -Listen!
  12. -Setup: First Kill -Listen!
  13. "First Kill" -Listen!
  14. -Setup: 2 Hours in Country -Listen! <---Suggestion
  15. "2 Hours in Country" -Listen! <------------------------
  16. "First Casualty" -Listen!
  17. "Rapelling" -Listen!
  18. -Setup: Temple 1969 -Listen! <---Suggestion
  19. "Temple 1969" -Listen! <------------------------
  20. -Setup: Letters From My Mom -Listen!
  21. "Letters From My Mom" -Listen!
  22. -Setup: Even Budda Cried -Listen!
  23. "Even Budda Cried" -Listen!
  24. -Setup: War Story for Paul -Listen!
  25. "War Story for Paul" -Listen!
  26. "Dotto" -Listen!
  27. "20 July, '69 on Ambush" -Listen!
  28. -Setup: No Lie GI -Listen!
  29. "No Lie GI" -Listen!
  30. -Setup: Banded Crates -Listen! <---Suggestion
  31. "Banded Crates" -Listen! <------------------------
  32. -Setup: To Irish Americans -Listen!
  33. To Irish Americans -Listen!
  34. -Setup: Food For Thought -Listen!
  35. "Food For Thought" -Listen!
  36. -Setup: Sunday at The Minon -Listen!
  37. "Sunday at The Minon" -Listen!
  38. -Setup: Letter to the Bear -Listen! <---Suggestion
  39. "Letter to the Bear"-Listen! <------------------------
  40. -Setup: Driving Home -Listen!
  41. "Driving Home"-Listen!
  42. -Setup: Do Len -Listen!
  43. "Do Len" -Listen!
  44. -Setup: What Brings it Back-Listen!
  45. "What Brings It All Back"-Listen!
  46. -Setup: Vietnamese Poet -Listen!
  47. A Vietnamese Poet's Piece -Listen!
  48. -Setup: An Hung -Listen!
  49. An Hung -Listen!
  50. -Setup: The little Man -Listen! <---Suggestion
  51. "The little Man"-Listen! <------------------------

More From Connolly:

More From Bowen:

book cover lost in america

Order the Book

A related work including Connolly's words



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